• The Centre for Inclusive Leadership

To celebrate National Apprentice Week Shakibul Alom, shared his personal apprenticeship journey.

Who are you? What do you currently do?

My name’s Shak, I’m currently an Employment Placement Officer – what that means is I support disadvantaged individuals – I help them to attain specific skills and attributes in their chosen field. Equipping them with the knowledge and fundamentals through training and then further progressing them into the creative industry.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship? Where did you choose to work?

I was the only person in my school who didn’t go to Sixth Form, Friends and family around me all questioned the idea of me going to work at the age of 16. Coming from a disadvantaged background myself I took a step outside my comfort zone and decided to do a traineeship with IBM, I used my 1-month work experience to get my foot through the door. When the opportunity for an apprenticeship with London Stock Exchange Group came up, I had absolutely no idea what to expect (I didn’t understand what LSEG did as a group) When attending my first interview at St Pauls, it was my first time in the City of London, Although I’ve lived in East London my whole life. It felt like a completely different world, exciting as well as daunting. I remember waiting in the reception 30 minutes prior to my interview reading Investor’s Business Daily, not understanding a thing (just trying to look busy like everyone else around me)

How did you feel when you were accepted into the programme?

When I received the call, explaining I had got the job. It was disbelief, I was thinking back to the interview trying to understand how? What? Why? The butterflies in your stomach when receiving the call to the burst of happiness. I knew that was the first step in the right direction.

What did you find most challenging about being an apprentice?

Adapting to the world of work was difficult to start with, when you’re 16 and just coming out of school it can be a culture shock. Working with experts in their field might sometimes feel intimidating, however it does work to your advantage if you aren’t someone with much experience in the workplace. I didn’t understand hierarchy at the time so I used to treat everyone with the exact same level of respect and established very strong relationships across different departments within the business. People who I still stay in touch with and are very close to till this day.

What behaviours and skills did you learn during your apprenticeship?

During my apprenticeship I was like a sponge which soaked in all the information I could. I was very proactive and eager – the main things I took away is time keeping, establishing relationships, emotional intelligence, the ability to work under pressure and the most important of all CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

What advice would you give anyone considering an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship for someone looking to get their foot through the door, take every opportunity you can, it’s important to be enthusiastic and have a good attitude. Be tenacious and no matter what do not to give up. It can be tough adjusting, but it really is worth it. It could potentially be the catapult to your career!

What (if any) best practice did you take with you from your apprenticeship that you follow to this day?

There’s a number of things I’ve taken away, 1 of the main ones are staying committed and seeing every task, project through to the end and being reliable (which goes a long way). Always taking on board constructive criticism and learning from mistakes.Overall having fun whilst you work.

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